Many speculated that the love and support that Chennai Super Kings used the garner would take a certain hit after their two-year ban. However, CSK picked a team in a bid to retain their core players from the yesteryears. They managed to build up a positive environment and returned to the cash-rich league with the same fandom they once used to command.
They were then accused of picking up a team full of players at the wrong side of 30 and many mocked Chennai ‘Super’ Kings to have become Chennai ‘Senior’ Kings. Be that as it may, with half the matches of the league stage done and dusted, CSK find themselves leading the points table and are looking the front runners for the trophy.
Here are five reasons why Chennai Super Kings are looking all set to lay their hands on the IPL 2018 trophy-
Resurgence of MS Dhoni
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) May 2, 2018
Back to the franchise where Dhoni started in 2008, he seems to have found his old charm. The fans have seen the vintage Mahi as he has rolled back the years this season. With three half centuries already to his name at the half way mark, MSD’s explosive antics have buoyed the spirits of the Chennai boys.
Leading from the front, Dhoni has promoted himself in the batting order, coming in a t No. 4 or 5. After quickly getting his eye in, he has tonked the ball a fair distance. Moreover, the success rate has increased for him this season that is if he goes for a big shot, he now connects more often than not.
Old is Gold
Being tagged as a team of senior statesmen, critics believed that CSK had got it completely wrong in the auctions. However, the senior lot has shown that there is no substitute for experience. Sample this: MI have lost at least 5 matches in the last over. On the contrary, CSK have managed to end on the right side of the line more often than not.
Having been in tight situations and knowing what it takes to get over the line, Chennai have clinched crucial situations. Hence, they find themselves at the apex of the points table.
Rayudu’s newfound form
In contention for the Orange Cap, IPL 2018 has been a breakout year for Ambati Rayudu. With 370 runs in 8 matches at a jaw-dropping average of close to 50, Rayadu has been instrumental for CSK. His flexibility is another thing which gives him an edge over the other batsmen. CSK have shuffled their batting order quite a bit and Rayudu has had to bear the brunt of it.
All the same, it does not seem to have mattered much as the 32-year-old has been firing at all spots. His success has been reaching far and wide as he is being reportedly considered for the Indian squad touring England later this year.
In Chennai, they call MS Dhoni Thala, which means the leader. Dhoni has not only been a mere Captain but a real leader in the truest sense of the word. Be it marshalling his bowlers as per the match situation, picking up a balanced side or shuffling the batting order, the skipper has been on point with his decisions.
Mahi has also mastered the art of controlling the pace of the game. He slows it down a little bit when his bowlers are going for runs. Also, he keeps pressure intact when the opposition is under the pump.
Complete bowling attack
CSK have managed to arrange their bowling pieces in manner such that they have all their bases covered. As far as their spin options are concerned, they have Imran Tahir and Karn Sharma as leg spinners. This is very good for the balance of the side as you get a like-for-like replacement for Tahir. It allows them to play an extra overseas batsman.
The wily off spinner Harbhajan Singh has been assigned the job of stemming the flow of runs from one end. Bhajji may not have picked up many wickets but he has certainly kept the batsmen quiet.
The pace battery comprises of Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur as leading Indian quicks. They have Shane Watson and Dwayne Bravo as all-rounders who are more than able bowlers. For additional pace, Chennai can look towards Lungi Ngidi and KM Asif who have the potential to unsettle the opposition batsmen.
So, will history repeat itself? Have your say!